Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Music For Mt. Lebanon Starts This Saturday

Music for Mt. Lebanon is a non-profit community musical series program that hosts musical performances five times a year at the Mt. Lebanon High School Auditorium. The musical acts include international artists such as The Irish Rovers, Stig Rossen, The Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, The Pied Pipers & the Clambake Seven and Caribbean Sound. Music for Mt. Lebanon is celebrating its 63rd season this year, making it one of the oldest continual community musical programs in the country. Visit them online at www.musicformtlebanon.org


Bookmark and Share

Congressman Murphy Votes Against Bailout Bill

With 1,500 indignant calls and e-mails six weeks before Election Day, there was no mystery left for U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy when it came to how to vote on the Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 -- the one his constituents called simply The Bailout.

"I've never heard someone get to Congress saying, 'Elect me and I'll make sure we have more mortgage-backed securities to base our economy on,' " the South Hills congressman said yesterday. Moments earlier, Mr. Murphy and 227 other House members -- most of them rank-and-file -- turned back the Bush administration's plea for $700 billion to rescue the credit market.

Link: www.postgazette.com/pg/08274/916152-28.stm

Link 2: community.post-gazette.com/blogs/earlyreturns/archive/2008/09/29/altmire-murphy-vote-nay.aspx

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Monday, September 29, 2008

WTAE/Highmark Town Hall Meeting About Bullying

Officials report that every seven minutes a school child is bullied nationwide, but most parents don't know how serious the problem is.

All parents from around the southwestern Pennsylvania region are invited to join host Sally Wiggin of WTAE Channel 4 Action News and Highmark Healthy High 5, an initiative of the Highmark Foundation, for a town hall meeting on the issue of bullying.

The event will be held Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Mt. Lebanon High School.

A distinguished panel of experts in bullying prevention will share compelling information about children who are bullied, those who bully, as well as those who are merely bystanders to bullying. The meeting will be open for questions from parents. The meeting will offer tips on how to talk to your children about bullying.

Link: www.thepittsburghchannel.com/station/17581213/detail.html

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Washington Park Developers Get More Time

Developers of the Washington Park condominium project in Mt. Lebanon got the extra time they were looking for Sept. 22, as the municipality's commission voted unanimously to approve a 12-month extension to submit a land development plan.

In an Aug. 27 letter to the commissioners from Zamagias Properties, CFO and Washington Park project manager Michael Heins requested an 18-month extension, citing the "continued turmoil in the financial markets affecting housing" as the reason the project has not progressed further.

Link: www.thealmanac.net/ALM/Story/09-24-ML-Commission

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Libraries Have DVDs Online

Movie lovers already know that the local library is a place where they can check out videos free of charge. Now, some libraries are now making it even easier to do so by offering an online video service. It allows patrons to download videos onto their computer without driving to the library and without waiting for other patrons to return copies of the most popular titles.

The service, called MyLibrarydv, offers hundreds of videos ranging from popular Hollywood movies to nonfiction titles in categories such as cooking, medicine, travel and antiques. Green Tree Public Library has offered the service since May, and Mt. Lebanon Public Library has offered it since 2007.

Mt. Lebanon Library Director Cynthia Richey said 59 people have downloaded videos from the service in the last five months. She expects that number to increase as more patrons become aware of it.

Link: www.post-gazette.com/pg/08269/914661-55.stm

Link 2: mldv.permissiontv.com/channels/mtlebanon_pa/

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

8 Lebo Students Named National Merit Semi-Finalists

The National Merit Scholarship Corp. recently announced about 16,000 semi-finalists in the National Merit Scholarship competition. The high school seniors will compete for about 8,200 National Merit Scholarships, worth a total of more than $35 million.

The semi-finalists were chosen based on their performance on the PSAT/NMSQT exam, taken by 1.5 million high school juniors in more than 21,000 high schools last school year. The number of winners is proportional to each state's percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

In the next step, about 90 percent will become finalists based on applications, including their academic records, recommendation from a high school principal and SAT scores that are consistent with their PSAT performance.

The Lebo winners are: Megan Bone, Kishore Jayakumar, Alyssa Lloyd, Anne McGinty, John McGinty, Michael Muehl, Danielle Nathanson and Ryan Pollock.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Electronics Recycling Event Coming To Lebo

Residents can help protect the environment by pitching unwanted computers, cell phones, televisions and other electronic items at Mt. Lebanon's first-ever Electronics Recycling Event, to be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Public Works facility on Lindendale Drive.

JVS Environmental will recycle the items, keeping toxic heavy metals away from landfills and natural areas.

Items accepted without cost will include: computer central processing units; laptop computers; keyboards; computer mice; radio equipment; telephones; desktop copiers and scanners; cell phones; household appliances without Freon; and lead acid automobile batteries.

JVS will charge $4 to recycle computer monitors and $1 per inch of screen size for televisions. It also will destroy data and digital media to protect privacy.

Link: www.post-gazette.com/pg/08269/914732-55.stm

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Construction Manager Vote Tabled

Mt. Lebanon school directors tabled an action to vote on a construction manager for the high school renovation/construction project at a special meeting Tuesday.

The board is waiting for final details from one of the firms it is considering. The list has been narrowed to URS, an international firm, and P. J. Dick, a local firm. The board expects to call another special meeting to make the choice in coming weeks.

Link: www.post-gazette.com/pg/08269/914732-55.stm

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Festival of Bands This Saturday

The Mt. Lebanon Band Builders will host the 14th annual Festival of Bands at 7 p.m. Saturday at the high school stadium, 155 Cochran Road. Bands from Brashear, Carrick, Keystone Oaks, Shaler Area, Thomas Jefferson, Westinghouse, Mt. Lebanon and Westminster College will participate. The Mt. Lebanon Drum Line and Percussion Front will offer special performances. Admission tickets are $6; preschoolers admitted free.

Link: www.post-gazette.com/pg/08269/914662-55.stm

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Asbury Heights Marks 100 Years

When Frances Campbell Hamilton, with the help of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, created a home for 18 elderly men and women in Dravosburg in 1908, she probably never imagined it growing into a 26-acre campus that would eventually become home to more than 500 people.

But Mrs. Hamilton's generosity and her compassion for older adults started the institution that today is Asbury Heights on Bower Hill Road in Mt. Lebanon.

Yesterday, Asbury Heights, a continuing care community encompassing independent and assisted living arrangements and skilled nursing and dementia units, celebrated its centennial.

Link: www.post-gazette.com/pg/08269/914730-55.stm


Bookmark and Share

Art In The Park Next Weekend

The seventh annual Art in the Park, sponsored by Mt. Lebanon Sunrise Rotary Club, will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 4 and 5 in Mt. Lebanon Park. More than 50 artists will be featured, including those who who work in oil, water color, pastels, textiles, weaving, needlework, florals, glass, ceramics, jewelry, photography, woodcarving and furniture. Food vendors, live music and children's activities will be offered. For information, call 412-343-3409.

Link: www.mtlrotaryartinthepark.org

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

St. Clair Hospital's Donated Beds To Serve Patients A World Away

By replacing 31 traditional hospital beds, St. Clair Hospital expects to improve stays for its own patients and for others in developing countries.

Patients treated at the hospital in Mt. Lebanon will benefit from new "low beds," which can lowered to a height of eight inches off the floor to help prevent fall-related injuries.

Those beds replace 31 Hill-Rom Advance 2000 electric beds donated by the hospital to Global Links, a nonprofit organization that helps underfunded hospitals obtain medical furnishings, supplies, and equipment.

Link: www.post-gazette.com/pg/08269/914731-55.stm


Bookmark and Share

This One Time, at Band Camp . . .

My son David, a senior at Mt. Lebanon High School, is an avid photographer. The other evening he took a few photos of the marching band while it was practicing at the high school stadium. He processed the results in QuickTime then uploaded the result to YouTube. I think that it's pretty neat:


Bookmark and Share

A Bad Time to Build?

With the collapse of American financial markets, my friends in New York and DC are telling me that even banks offering good deals -- securities backed by real assets -- are having a difficult time placing them. Investors, and especially foreign investors, are so skeptical of this country that they just aren't buying anything.

The Mt. Lebanon School District is looking at borrowing a massive amount of money in connection with a new or reconstructed high school. Is this the time to borrow? Even if Mt. Lebanon wants to borrow, will it be able to? At a reasonable price? There's no sense in committing to construction if a bond issue is likely to fail. Is there?

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Three Area School Districts Criticized For Secrecy Of Buyouts

The South Allegheny, Mt. Lebanon and Pittsburgh school districts spent about $900,000 on buyouts of their superintendents' contracts, according to a report by Auditor General Jack Wagner.

The contracts -- among $1.3 million spent for buyouts in seven districts across the state -- demonstrate the need for greater disclosure and tighter provisions for superintendent contracts, he said.

"Secret contract buyouts have no place in the commonwealth's educational system because they fail to assure the public that school districts are protecting their interests," Wagner said in a prepared statement.

Link: www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/breaking/s_589605.html

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Larry Lessig Tomorrow, 9/25

I'm interrupting the flow of Mt. Lebanon news and exercising a momentary author's prerogative to bring news of an event that has nothing to do with Lebo but that may (and I hope will) be of interest to a lot of Lebo residents:

My colleague Lawrence Lessig, well-known to many in the blogosphere and well beyond for his ceaseless efforts to reform copyright and tamp down the control that Big Corporations exercise over free speech, is coming to the University of Pittsburgh tomorrow (Thursday, Sept. 25) to give a *free* *public* lecture. So you're all invited, along with your friends and neighbors and cousins in the mainstream media (to the Post-Gazette and KDKA and their relations: I don't think that Pitt sent out a press release, so consider yourselves invited, too!).

What it's about:
"A Declaration for Independence"

There is a growing threat to some of the most important institutions in our culture and political life from an improper dependence on money. In this lecture, Professor Lessig will describe this threat to institutions, from the academy to Congress, and the developing movement to check it.

Professor Lessig is a professor of law at Stanford University. He previously taught at Harvard Law School and the University of Chicago. He graduated from Yale Law School and clerked for Judge Richard Posner and Justice Antonin Scalia. (Both impressive and surprising for someone who now finds himself leading the vanguard of grass-roots progressive politics.) Not that it matters much to most folks, but he's a son of the Commonwealth. He grew up in Williamsport.

Here's my Pittsblog post with abundant details and a cool copy of the event poster. To sum up:

University of Pittsburgh School of Law (Forbes & Bouquet in Oakland, across the street from the "O"). Teplitz Moot Courtroom -- that's on the lower level.
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Open to the public.
No RSVP required.

As you were. Thanks.


Bookmark and Share

Mt. Lebanon Police Float School Agenda

If Mt. Lebanon High School is replaced with a new building rather than upgraded through renovations, the campus could include a municipal police substation and a larger weapons range to accommodate police department training as well as the school rifle team.

Superintendent John Allison, school board Vice President Alan Silhol and acting police Chief Eugene Roach ran the proposal past municipal commissioners this week, saying the police department's range at the Department of Public Works is too small to meet its training needs.

Link: www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/today/s_589790.html

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Monday, September 22, 2008

Father/Son Campout at Bird Park

Fellow Blog-Lebo reader and commenter Fen Labalme and myself had the pleasure of taking our sons to the Father/Son Campout at Bird Park on Saturday evening and Sunday morning. The event started by having all of us set up our tents on John Doctor Field. In the past, people would camp out in the lower portion of Bird Park near the playground and bonfire circle, but there were too many people attending this year so we had to move to the bigger field.

Once we were set up, there was a very nice cookout full of hamburgers, hot dogs, Chick-fil-A sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, brownies and fruit salad. Lil' Hugs, bottled water and cold pop were available as well. The cookout was then followed by hiking through the park, group games and time in the playground.

We were then visited by Platoon Chief Kevin Maehling of the Mt. Lebanon Fire Department who gave a talk to us about fire safety and then lit the bonfire. The kids really enjoyed sitting around the fire roasting marshmallows and making smores.

The bonfire was followed by an outside viewing of Underdog which was a cute movie that everyone enjoyed. After the movie, everyone followed the path marked through the park back to our "campground" for a good night's sleep.

Sunday morning brought fog across the field and some cool weather to break our camps down and get ready to eat. We headed back to the pavilion for a yummy breakfast consisting of cereal, bagels, cinnamon buns, muffins and coffee and juice -- and then said our goodbyes to the new friends we made.

Overall, it was a great event put on very well by the recreation department staff. They did a fantastic job and it was something that I know my son and I will not forget for a long time. We're definitely looking forward to next year!

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Sign Wars

It's that time of year again when political signs sprout up as quick as weeds around town. We're all used to seeing our neighbors support their choice of politicians, but there's always one that stands out from the rest.

I saw the following sign while traveling on Morrison Drive neat the intersection with Cochran Road. As you can see, the message is very strong -- and depending on your opinion -- is either way off or right on target. I just have to wonder what this homeowner's neighbors think of it.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, September 18, 2008

School Board Weighs Class Size, Budget Matters

Class size at Mt. Lebanon's Washington Elementary School, budgeting matters and the high school construction manager were topics at Mt. Lebanon's Sept. 15 school board meeting.

It was also revealed that board member Alan Silhol will meet with municipal officials over a variety of topics, one whether or not to assign a full-time police officer at Mt. Lebanon High School.

Board President Mark Hart said the meeting will be reconvened at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept 23 in the high school library, where the board will possibly choose a construction manager for the $100-plus million high school project. Two firms were sent contract proposals last week. The board narrowed the list of construction managers to two--P.J. Dick and URS Corporation. URS is a national firm with a local office.

Link: www.thealmanac.net/ALM/Story/09-17-ML-issues-B


Bookmark and Share

MLHS Honors Top Graduates

Mt. Lebanon High School has announced the recipients of the 2008 Great Alumni Award. The Great Alumni Award was developed by the Mt. Lebanon High School Student Council in 2004 to highlight the accomplishments and contributions of Mt. Lebanon graduates.

The recipients are selected based on exceptional work in the following areas: improvement in the lives of others; involvement in community service; or professional achievement. Administrators, faculty, students and alumni serve on the selection committee. Recipients will be honored on Sept. 19 at a luncheon and that evening during halftime of the Mt. Lebanon football game.

Link: www.thealmanac.net/ALM/Story/09-17-ML-great-alumni-

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Commissioner Raja Comments on KOHS/Police Issue

1st Ward Commissioner Raja has recently commented on the issue regarding the proposed reassignment of a Mt. Lebanon Police officer to Keystone Oaks High School -- and the previous actions of the commission regarding this issue. You can read the posting on his web site.

Link: www.joinraja.com

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Budding Lebo Businesswoman Puts Texting To Test

Jenny Meriney became frustrated last winter when foul weather forced her to sit through a television scroll of school delays and cancellations, or shuffle downstairs to turn on the computer for her district's snow day status.

"It was really hard to wake up in the morning during winter and find where it was listed and if we had a delay. We were already up, and you can't really go back to bed again," said Jenny, an eighth-grader at Mellon Middle School.

So, she decided to combine her love of texting and her gift for problem-solving to create PITText Alert, a service that will provide text message notifications of school delays or cancellations for a $5 fee per cell phone.

Link: www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/today/s_588503.html

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Family Finds Body Of Missing Mt. Lebanon Man

An extensive search for a missing Mount Lebanon man ended Wednesday morning when members of his family found his body near a local golf course. Michael Platts, 49, was last seen at his home on Monday. Police said he has a history of memory loss, anxiety and depression due to seizures.

Deputy Police Chief Gene Roach said, "The Mount Lebanon police are continuing the investigation but indications are the circumstances of the death do not appear to be criminal in nature." Investigators with the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's office spent Wednesday afternoon trying to determine the cause of death.

Link: www.wpxi.com/news/17483893/detail.html

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Monday, September 15, 2008

Missing Mt. Lebanon Man Sought

The Mt. Lebanon Police Department has issued a missing persons alert for resident Michael Platts, 49. Mr. Platts has a history of memory loss, anxiety and depression resulting from viral encephalitis.

He was last seen at home on Milbeth Drive at 7 a.m. today and is believed to have walked away without identification or the daily medication neccesary to control his seizures.

Mr. Platts is white, 5 feet 9 and weighs 160 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. Anyone with information should contact the police at 412-343-4143.

Link: www.mtlebanon.org/index.asp?NID=1495 (contains pictures of Mr. Platts)

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

FBI Agent From Lebo Extends Long Arm To Iraq

The Iraqi police officer was ambushed, U.S. federal agents say, because he was working with them and investigating his country's kidnappings, assassinations, insurgent attacks and police torture of prisoners.

Shot in the neck and chest, he escaped before his car exploded. The officer, known as "Little Ali," ran into a nearby home -- which fortunately belonged to a Sunni like him -- and called FBI Special Agent Robert Johnson, who was stationed in Iraq and leading the U.S.-Iraqi Major Crimes Task Force.

"Right then, the rule of law was really unstable," said Johnson, 46, of Mt. Lebanon, who now serves as the supervisor of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Pittsburgh. "Crime was pretty rampant throughout Baghdad. We knew we were on the right path when we started getting targeted."

Link: www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_588256.html

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Local Woman Honored By President For Helping Troops

NOTE: Kristen is a Mt. Lebanon resident

It started as a small project aimed to boost the spirits of local soldiers stationed far away from home – a local woman taking requests and granting them to those fighting overseas.

After 40,000 packages and four years later, Operation Troop Appreciation has received national recognition.

Kristen Holloway, of Pittsburgh, started the nonprofit group in 2004 as a means for soldiers to create a wish list online and have their requests granted.

Link: www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/17451148/detail.html

Previous post: Operation Troop Appreciation

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Governor Napolitano Comes To Mt. Lebanon

The Honorable Janet Napolitano, Governor of Arizona (and Pittsburgh native), will be at the Obama For President office at 642 Washington Road this Sunday, September 14 at 11 AM. She will be in town for a talk with local staff members and volunteers followed by a canvassing of the local area.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Cats, Deer and Ballfields

Cats, deer and ballfields dominated discussion at Mt. Lebanon's commission meeting Sept. 8. Former commissioner Ann Strader brought several lawn cushions before the board, one that was torn apart and the other soaked with urine she said was caused by Mt. Lebanon's major unseen problem: outdoor cats.

She said the feral cats aren't the problem. Many cat owners let their pets out during the day and they roam neighborhoods, destroying furniture and causing chaos. She left the cushions behind. Officials called maintenance to remove them after the meeting.

Link: www.thealmanac.net/ALM/Story/09-10-ML-Commission-cats-and-fields-B

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Mt. Lebanon Weighs New High School Option

Yet another option for renovation or construction of Mt. Lebanon's high school has been suggested by school board member Dan Remely.

But architects say they need time and a construction manager to look over the proposal to put together details such as cost in the new option. Architect Tom Celli from Celli-Flynn Brennan (CFB) said Sept. 8 that generally Remely's plan involves an option for the high school given to the public on July 22.

"Dan Remely had an idea about how to look at the new building site (parking lot) as part of proposal three, and save the theaters, the auditorium and the little theater. We are investigating that right now," Celli said. "There may be a way to get all the benefits of the building, while saving about 80,000 square feet, thus reducing costs."

Link: www.thealmanac.net/ALM/Story/09-10-ML-high-school-opt-B

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Lebo Native Wittlin Signs Six Picture Deal

Six more movies could be shoot here in Pittsburgh if one of its native sons has anything to say about it. Last month, producer and Mt. Lebanon native Mike Wittlin signed a six-picture agreement with Hollywood-based Imprint Entertainment.

Under the terms of the agreement, Wittlin and Imprint jointly willproduce the six films in two years. "I don't have to shoot them in Pittsburgh, but I want to," Wittlin says. "All other things being equal, we will shoot them in Pittsburgh."

Link: www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/living/s_587956.html

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Decision On High School Delayed In Mt. Lebanon

The timetable for selecting a building or renovation option for Mt. Lebanon High School has been delayed by two months, with Nov. 17 now set as the date by which the board is expected to decide upon an option.

At a community forum in July at which four options were presented for the high school, a timeline for the process indicated the board would choose an option at its Sept. 15 meeting.

But on Monday, board President Mark Hart announced that the board had not yet selected a construction manager for the project and that more accurate costs on the options can't be determined until one is chosen.

Link: www.post-gazette.com/pg/08255/911070-55.stm

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Lebo Youth Brushes Up For Jeopardy

When it comes to playing the game show "Jeopardy," it's best to brush up on your Shakespeare. Mt. Lebanon High School sophomore Christopher Weis isn't doing a whole lot of cramming in anticipation of his trip to California next month. But he did find a recent purchase at Barnes and Noble helpful: a little flow-chart of Shakespeare plots and characters.

"Hey, it works," said Christopher, who will be one of 15 contestants in the Oct. 6-7 teen tournament. It will be taped in Sony's Culver City studios. "At the auditions, there was a question about the play, 'As You Like It.' "

The chart came in handy this summer when Christopher and his family went to New York City in November for his in-person tryout. Thousands of teen-age contestants took an online test as the first step toward qualifying.

Link: www.post-gazette.com/pg/08255/911069-55.stm

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Mt. Lebanon of Seattle

Mt. Lebanon ex-pat Jefferson Provost, recently relocated from Pittsburgh to the Seattle area, has blogged his impressions comparing his new home, Bellevue, Washington, to his hometown. A taste:
Like Mt. Lebanon (nicknamed Lebo), Bellevue is an upper-middle-class suburb with fantastic schools and a partially deserved reputation for being snooty. When we were about to move here, a friend of ours who had lived in Bellevue said that she felt like women looked down at her in the mall because her stroller wasn’t nice enough. My reaction? No wonder I feel so at home here. Seriously, it’s so Lebo: a relatively expensive place to live, where the overly status-conscious mix with ordinary folks who are willing to spend more on housing in order to make sure their kids are in great schools. Growing up in a place like that you learn to filter out the snootiness — the snobs inherently disqualify their own opinions from weight or importance — yet being around it again was still perversely comforting in some mysterious way. You can take the boy out of the suburbs, but you can’t take the suburbs out of the boy, I guess.


Bookmark and Share

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Anglicans and Episcopalians Unite! Or not.

There are strong political winds blowing in Mt. Lebanon. The Obama campaign will formally open an office on Washington Road in the coming week, and there is a large Democratic Party picnic/program planned for the Main Park on September 28. Someone with a long memory in Mt. Lebanon told me recently that the word "Democrat" once was banned from the pages of the predecessor to Mt. Lebanon magazine the Mt. Lebanon News (I am corrected on this; the News was not the predecessor of the magazine), so resolutely did the Republican Party grip this town. Apocryphal? Perhaps, but it rings true. I've had Republican Committee members marvel in conversations with me that the Democratic Party now apparently holds a registration advantage in town. At last Friday's "First Friday" event, supporters of Republican Member of Congress Tom Murphy set up a sidewalk tent and table right next to those of Democratic State Rep. Matt Smith, at the corner of Washington and Cochran Roads.

Closer to home, issues-wise, I have heard long-time observers on both sides of the political fence bemoan the seeming emergence of a Red vs. Blue dynamic on the Mt. Lebanon Commission. (RvB is a Halo reference as well as a political one, for those with a passing familiarity with the videogame generation!) Some might say that a contest is being waged for the soul of Mt. Lebanon. Should local politics mirror national politics? When? How? Or not?

Switching institutions but not spiritual or political concerns, an even more bitter battle is being waged within the Anglican Communion, and that battle is making at stop here in Mt. Lebanon. The Tribune Review reports:

Supporters and opponents of a plan to realign the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh with another Anglican body will outline their positions at two meetings before taking a final vote.

The Coalition for Realignment, a group of clergy, lay people and church leaders, will discuss the issue at its third and final public meeting today at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Sewickley. The session begins at 9:30 a.m.

Across the Aisle, a coalition of clergy and lay people who oppose realignment, will hold its first public meeting at 1 p.m. next Saturday [Sept. 13] at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Mt. Lebanon.

Link here. For those you haven't been following the question of so-called realignment, the question has to do formally with the survival of the Anglican Communion, of which the Episcopal Church in the United States has long been a part. Some dioceses in the U.S. and many in Africa have withdrawn, and others propose to follow suit. Substantively, the divide largely concerns strong objections to Anglican acceptance of gay and lesbian clergy and same-sex marriage. The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh is not merely among the objectors but has been a leader in what has become known as the "realignment" debate. On the other side of the proverbial aisle, opposing realignment, are the Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh. (As a one-time Episcopalian myself, but a former member of a very progressive California congregation, I've been following the local rift -- from a respectful distance -- for years.)

As the proverb goes, we in Mt. Lebanon live in interesting times.


Bookmark and Share

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Carpe Diem!

A fine man and a wise soul was honored this morning. The soccer pitch in Bird Park will hereafter be known as John Doctor Field, in honor of the coach, parent, and volunteer who was remembered with characteristic affection and humor by friends, colleagues, and family.

The calling of any and every teacher is to change the lives of students, wherever those students are found: in classrooms, families, community organizations, congregations, even companies. Many teachers inspire in this generation but are forgotten in the next. The naming of the field assures that along with the other gifts that he gave to the world, John Doctor will touch the lives of generations to come. All of us who give our time to families and communities other than our own do so because we want to change the world in large and small ways. For all of the tragedy of his passing, John was the uncommon wit who succeeded. This morning's testimony was and is evidence of that, if any were needed.

To the rest of us: Carpe Diem! Seize the day! Few of us will be so fortunate ever to witness another event like we saw this morning, let alone to be the subject of one. But we can hope, and if we needed encouragement to push ourselves in that direction, we got some: Of the many remarkable stories shared this morning, the most inspirational may have been the least original, precisely because it captured so much of what John Doctor meant to so many people. It was a brief poem read by Alan Russell, Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative. (Alone among all those in attendance, he and his family wore Doctor-appropriate dress: soccer jerseys!) The poem consists of what have come to be called the Paradoxical Commandments, sometimes attributed to Mother Teresa but attributed at this website to one Kent Keith. The Mother Teresa version begins this way:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Thanks to Lee Adams for his hard work in assembling this morning's program and for collaborating with Brian Luchini, Boy Scout Troop 284, who led volunteers in installing the memorial landscape and hardscape as part of Brian's Eagle Scout service project. Lee is also producing a documentary film memorial on John's life. Look for it in the months ahead on Mt. Lebanon public access television.

Below, I've reproduced the program from the ceremony, so that you can see the breadth of the communities that John touched and the depth of the commitment that he inspired. Click on each image for an enlarged version.


Bookmark and Share

Friday, September 05, 2008

First Friday Tonight on Washington Road

Come out to Washington Road in Mt. Lebanon tonight and enjoy a balmy First Friday. I'll be there shortly. Say hi!


Bookmark and Share

Murals Complete

Joe posted earlier about the murals being installed on the T Tunnels on Shady Drive East. The work is done. Here are some photos that I shot recently; click on each one to enlarge it. Like Joe, I think that these are great additions to Mt. Lebanon. More public art for Mt. Lebanon!

Link: Nonprofits targeting violence with $925,000 initiative

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Doyle Is Top Emergency Physician

Dr. Thomas J. Doyle was recognized as Pennsylvania's Emergency Physician of the Year during an awards luncheon Aug. 15 at the 2008 Pennsylvania Emergency Medical Services Conference in Hershey. The award is given by the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services.

Dr. Doyle is a board-certified emergency medicine physician with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and serves as the associate medical director for the STAT MedEvac Air Medical Program. He lives in Mt. Lebanon with his wife and two daughters.\

Link: www.post-gazette.com/pg/08248/909052-55.stm

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Elderly Woman Accused Of Kicking Lebo Cop In Shins

An elderly woman in Mount Lebanon was arrested on Tuesday and charged with kicking a police officer. Police said a neighbor of Betty Morris' called police after learning an older male living next door needed medical attention.

Paramedics responded to the call from the home on Williamsburg Road, but Morris would not let them into the residence , police said.

Link: www.wpxi.com/news/17381686/detail.html


Bookmark and Share

Players Lend Hand To Local Projects

The Mt. Lebanon High School football team has been doing more this summer than just gearing up for this season's games. Some of its players have been volunteering throughout the community. About 20 or so players recently volunteered for three separate service projects in Mt. Lebanon.

On two weekends in May, the players helped the Mt. Lebanon Nature Conservancy clean public green spaces. Julia O'Hara, whose son, Connor, is a senior on the football team said another football parent contacted the Nature Conservancy to see if they needed volunteers.

Link: www.thealmanac.net/ALM/Story/09-03-ML-football-vols-pixs-


Bookmark and Share

Soccer Community, Conservationists Honor John Doctor

Mt. Lebanon officials Saturday will dedicate a soccer field they renamed for a Duquesne University professor who fought to preserve a nature park while promoting the playing of soccer there.

It is a fitting tribute to a man who could bring together groups as diverse as soccer fans and conservationists, those who knew John Doctor said.

"John was the bridge between these two interests," said Lee Adams, his friend of about eight years.

Link: www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/southwest/s_586048.html

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share